How do I get some forwarded emails to stop disappearing due to SPF?
January 25, 2014 10:27 AM   Subscribe

Right now I have the email setup of my small business so that (we'll call it) is our public address, and email sent there is forwarded by our host provider to, which is our main company account with Google Apps for Business. 99% of emails sent to come through to just fine, but there's that 1% that just disappear -- they don't go to spam folder, they don't seem to go anywhere. Help!

It seems this is due to the hard SPF policy that some senders use. For a while I thought I could get the forwarding to work for even these by modifying the SPF record of our forwarding domain (I swear, I was steered in that direction by the tech support of both my host and google apps), but the more I'm learning the more I'm thinking that's a wild goose chase.

The SPF wikipedia entry says one way to fix forwarding when there's an SPF record is through "whitelisting on the target server, so that it will not refuse a forwarded message", but I've tried adding the relevant ip ranges to the Email Whitelist and/or Inbound Gateway fields in Google Apps, to no success.

You may be asking yourself why I have all the email forwarding to my Googe Apps, rather than just using Google Apps for And I am starting to think all the forwarding indeed may have been a mistake... But the rationale was/is that I actually have quite a few forwarding addresses setup and I don't know if there's a way to do a similar setup on Google Apps. For example, all damage claim emails are sent to, which are then forwarded to several different employees, some of which have Google Apps accounts, some of which do not. Same with documents@, memos@, lessons@, hiring@, etc. etc. I suppose I could do all this with Google Groups, but it just doesn't seem as quick & easy to setup.

And at this point it pains me to think of having to re-migrate our Google Apps account from to and redo all those forwarders w/ Google Groups. If Metafilter tells me that's the only good solution, I shall do, but I'm hoping there's a more easy alternative.

Thank you very much for any guidance anyone can provide.
posted by jcfudgely to Technology (2 answers total)
Odinsdream, thank you so much for your response!
-I would assume the email is being forwarded by my host (bluehost) ok also. I don't have a Spam filter setup or anything like that.
-I've tried to Whitelist + Inbound Gateway the Bluehost IP range (which I've pasted below) but it didn't seem to have any effect. Though now that I think about it, maybe I needed to wait a few hours for it to kick in?,,,,,,,,

But if there's a simpler approach, I am definitely potentially interested.
I know the standard is to change the MX records at the domain registrar (1and1 in this case). However, I don't suppose if I changed them at my host instead (seems to be an option in CPanel) I could then keep my current forwarding setup?
-If not, is there a recommended way of setting up forwarding in Google Apps?

Thank you again
posted by jcfudgely at 2:21 PM on January 25, 2014

That's perfect. I'll definitely be taking your advice and switching *com MX to google. Thank you!!
posted by jcfudgely at 4:46 PM on January 26, 2014

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